It has been too long since I last posted but I have a window, and it's time!
So to start, I have a bit of a unique connection with the Sky Palace at the Federal Building in downtown Edmonton. At the time that the Federal building was getting revamped during the Redford era I was employed as a contractor and spent probably 80% of my time in the building, constantly overseeing our subcontractors and ensuring the quality of work that we were employed to execute. I remember distinctly hearing about the Sky Palace through the media and I went in for a contractor meeting with the general contractor at the time, and asked my project coordinator about the Sky Palace (as it was a great secret, of course, until the media got it) and his gruff response was "I can't talk about it" and then promptly stormed off. Nothing profound, but every time I see it come up in discussion I can't do anything but chuckle about it.
Ok, so Princess Kenney and his band of merry inbreds decided to host a "business meeting" on the Sky Palace rooftop balcony complete with a bunch of booze and no shits given to respecting the restrictions that are still in place during this pandemic. Now there are a few things I should state before I get ranting 1. I ABSOLUTELY believe that this was actually orchestrated by one of his issue managers as a means of an easy distraction piece for his negligence to acknowledge the mass grave found in BC at a residential school this past week OR the appointment given to Jack Mintz on the AHS board to pursue further privatization of our health care system. Now, with that said, and I'm not going to harp on what a fucking moron Kenney is but, I believe there is a tall building or two around the Federal building that would have been able to have a clear sight of this balcony even IF he intended to keep this a secret. There are also enough people who own drones that if they decided to take a free flight over said balcony they could ALSO get footage of this boneheaded move.
Now, I want to make something else clear. The fact is, Kenney didn't tread carefully around doing this, or even take it seriously when called out in the leg about it because............well.............he truly doesn't see anything wrong with it. He couldn't give two shits what anyone thinks of the choice to do it. He isn't doing this as a means to get a reaction, or to prove how much of a hypocrite or tone deaf he is, he's doing this because he believes he's entitled to do it and he sees himself as bulletproof. This is how Jason Kenney IS. This is how his LIFE is. This is a complete normal for Jason Kenney. Completely unfiltered, arrogant, tone deaf, entitled, oblivious, real life perspective free Kenney. He's not smart enough to factor in optics. He is completely checked out to consequences downstream of his shortsighted, impulsive actions. He doesn't think before he acts, he just acts. The fact that he comes off as a complete fucking moron is because he IS a complete fucking moron. He hires stupid people who will be so insecure about their own flaws, coupled with the lack of a backbone, that they'll never challenge him and they aren't smart enough to outthink him.
I was listening to the #RealTalkRJ show yesterday and I enjoyed Jespo's take about the reaction received by irate Albertans with regards to Kenney getting caught. It's much of the same that we already know about him. This isn't anything new. The rub isn't that he won't get punished, the rub is how he sold himself as wholesome, hard working, and relatable to Albertans when really, he just fits the stereotype that Conservatives always are quick to lay at the feet of the Liberals. That they're entitled, Laurentian elites, screwing society to keep their pockets deep and their lives lavish. The irony that this isn't the Liberals doing this, so save your unfair unfounded critique of PM JT, and look at the Conservative premier when you're ready to lob grenades.
I remember hearing on a podcast a while back about folks from rural Alberta don't come to the city to attend university courses because they view it as elitist. Maybe it's just me but, I've been to post secondary on multiple occasions and there is NOTHING elitist about it. Are the courses expensive? Sure. For everyone. You don't get cheaper courses because you're from an urban center. Is the schooling easy? No, no it's not. If you aren't dedicated to doing well, you probably won't. (I don't subscribe to the D's get degrees bullshit) So it sounds like another absurd argument from some rural folks, but I won't pick up on beating that dead horse again. I just thought I'd mention it considering the talk of elitism.
I mentioned that I tuned into #RealTalkRJ podcast this week, but I also tuned into another of my favs in The Strategists podcast. They discussed, in relatively brief fashion, about the dining on the balcony. I think the points made were pretty valid. The talk about how it would be forgotten quickly, and how these images and such would be circulated around election time to remind Albertans about the pompous double standard that is being employed by the UCP. This thinking sounded like a very typical response especially considering that we're being bombarded by bullshit from these clowns everyday that we have to choose our battles instead of engaging and getting worked right up about EVERYTHING. Now, that was until today when UCP cabinet members started to speak out.
There are some significant differences from when Todd Loewen and Drew Barnes spoke out about the UCP's agenda under Kenney but a short time ago, they are as follows: 1. Drew Barnes, was identified by a number of people as a thorn in Kenney's side since cabinet was formed (and some surmised that it was rooted in the fact that he was overlooked for a position as a Minister). I can't confirm not deny that but, if you're a well travelled member of government, I could see getting butt hurt over being denied a position of importance and awarded a portfolio a snub. No question. 2. There wasn't just 1, but 2 cabinet ministers that spoke out today along with a few complete nobodies. 3. Kenney made an example of those who spoke out against him by kicking them from the party. With that said, it's far easier to kick out difficult party members and backbenchers than it is to remove Ministers, IMO. Leela Aheer, the Minister for culture, multiculturalism and status of women, believed that the premier should apologize for his actions. Now, I think considering the makeup of this government this takes some real fortitude. On the other hand, ironic how she had no comment or anything to add about the devastation brought about and felt across the country after the mass grave was found of 215 bodies over from a residential school..... I don't have anything against her as a person, but she has and will continue to get judged harshly for any and all of her action/inaction she's taken while in office. We know how THESE Conservatives view women (a laundry list of misogynistic crap directed at the NDP, more often than not directed at the women in the opposition through inappropriate language and gesturing, the intimidation etc) and also their feelings towards POC. The running joke to this point has been that they have people like Aheer, Madu, Luang, Sawhney, Pon serve as token POC to show how the UCP "embraces diversity". IMO, this is just that, simply for show. I haven't heard from Aheer for a while, and I'll get onto Sawhney shortly but, When Pon presents (as rarely as it is) she is unclear, and comes off as rambling and even incoherent. Madu, well, he's just atrocious. He plays everyone off as a fool, and hopes that Albertans are as checked out as he is. As for Luang, complete dumbass. You can pick the comments about his disbelief that safe injections sites work, or you can choose the fact that they didn't take the pandemic seriously and didn't think there would be a second wave. I mean, damn. Get a big old slice of humble pie for Luang. If he's in the leg, who's filling in as the village idiot? I don't think he wants to see POC succeed. To be fair, he's also hung out some of his caucasian Ministers as well. I guess if he keeps them scared and beat down that's really all that matters. Anyways, back to Sawhney. She was the second Minister to speak out today regarding the actions of Kenney and the balcony brothers. Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Community and Social Services, apparently did a radio interview and communicated her disappointment in the premier and re-iterated how she wouldn't have done such things etc etc. So that's two MINISTERS who have taken task with the most recent actions by our Premier. This doesn't include the three other members (Angela Pitt being one) who, apparently (as I didn't bother looking up the comments as their sheer displeasure was good enough for me), also voiced their displeasure.
There is a part of me that admires their ability to be critical and obviously hopes that this continues to further divide this awful party, with that being said, I'm keeping things tempered until we see more action as a result of this. Do I think Kenney will apologize? Nope. If he manages to grow up and actually realize he's an "adult" I could see him, you'll have to squint real hard, passing off some half assed apology that's like " I'm sorry Albertans interpreted it that way but it wasn't our intent we were simply working late".
I think what this continues to highlight, much the same was as Alohagate did is that, this government is COMPLETELY oblivious to the damage that optics can do. It's not like these optics are a stretch either. There is plenty of logic, and enough pathways to say, this guy must be completely fried between his ears to think that people won't make such connections. The Legislature is in Edmonton. Kenney is HATED in Edmonton. So Alohagate went down like a lead pill, and now you go back and do it AGAIN with the whole "look how entitled we are, we fly in the face of the rules and oh.............only my favorite ministers get to partake in such festivities." They did this at Christmas and plenty of people were butthurt. What was he TRULY thinking was going to happen this time? Oh right, he wasn't thinking. He's apparently a "lifelong student" but the one aspect that is KEY to learning is the ability to THINK. He can't think. It's not in his toolbox. He can gaslight, lay blame, make a complete ass of himself as he's oblivious to the temperature of a room, can't understand optics, has terrible public speaking skills and even got kicked out of Bible college. I didn't think it was possible. That's comparable to getting kicked out of clown college for screwing up your makeup......
Now I got into a very brief conversation with a twitter follower about how the motivation behind the speaking out of the Ministers about Kenney's balcony party was to keep the NDP out of the headlines. I told them I disagreed and I'd expand a touch on here. The thing is, disagreeing and demanding accountability (on a small scale) of the premier when you're part of the party is one thing but to do it as a MINISTER is another thing entirely. IMO, Ministers are expected to devoutly follow the lead of the leader who put them in such pivotal positions and if there is an issue, they approach it behind closed doors. Kenney proved forever ago how little he thinks of his backbenchers. To be getting critiqued from anyone within the party is concerning but, when the Ministers start swinging the stick, I stop and listen.
IMO, there is far more weight behind the Ministers and if the disruption is to this point already, get your popcorn popping. Barnes and Loewen are already out, Rehn got kicked because he is a complete failure (I mean if you fail rural Alberta, you must be pretttttttttttttty bad!) who's next? Pitt spoke out today (many have her linked to Barnes) How many? When will it happen? His numbers are in the crapper, the NDP is only picking up steam, and now more division and less of a unified feel in the governing party. Blood is in the water. The dam needs to break.
Stay positive. Stay Tuned.
As always, it's been a pleasure.
Once we're vaccinated, we're heading to the leg. We've been waiting and we need to keep the pressure on. Kenney is like a frog in boiling water, and someone just cranked the flame.
A Friendly face